Neaera: Ours Is the Storm


    Fired with a tempest of sonic abrasion, the new and sixth album from German metallers Neaera is a furnace of aggression and intensity which has been stoked up into a confrontation which is as punishing as it is compelling. Whether Ours Is the Storm is the band at its most aggressively creative and destructive yet can be discussed in length as they have unleashed numerous onslaughts of impressively violent creativity, but certainly the new album shows they have not lost one ounce of invention, malevolence, and sonic spite.

Since forming in 2003 under the name The Ninth Gate, the band from Münster, Westphalia has triggered constant attention with their distinct maul of death metal with thrash veining, the quintet within a year being signed to Metal Blade Records. Changing their name to Neaera, after a character in Greek mythology, the band released their debut album The Rising Tide Of Oblivion in 2005 to a tide of strong positive reviews. The following years saw four more enthusiastically received albums all garnering strong acclaim in varying degrees and the band igniting stages in shows, tours, and festivals around Europe alongside the likes of Kataklysm, Caliban, Rammstein, Earth Crisis, Sworn Enemy, All That Remains, Soilwork , Bleed From Within, Callejon and many more. With their new album again released via Metal Blade, the band has continued to hone and evolve their sound into a full brutal expanse of imagination, energy, and passion. The release is a carnal devour of the senses which leaves you breathless, sore, and blissfully satisfied.

Opening track The Deafening is a inciting intro to the ferociousness to follow, its brewing corruption and blistered ambience a Neaera - Ours Is the Stormshort breath of oppressiveness before the title track runs with the in place intent to unleash a primal rage upon the ear. With rhythms slapping the senses with muscular persistence and riffs gnawing with rabid hunger whilst sonic spirals of intrigue and enterprise ignite the air further, the song consumes and ravishes person and emotions. It is a stirring bruising encounter which ignites the passions with ease, the varied growls and insidious squalls from Benjamin Hilleke a magnificent cry and scour as impacting and voracious as the sounds colouring the air black and blue around him.

Decolonize the Mind and Through Treacherous Flames both concentrate on the already deep sores ripped open by the first track, the guitars of Stefan Keller and Tobias Buck flattening defences with merciless riffs and branding with sonic flames whilst the skilled drums of Sebastian Heldt make no attempt to hide their hostility and malice. Between the songs and across the album there is arguably a similarity to the corrosive surface which threatens at times to overwhelm the continually challenging imagination and diversity within songs though it is never enough to deflect their intrigue and power, whilst looking each storm directly in the eye and searching its core reveals the depth of invention at work and

Deeper into its heart the album unveils a hunger driven by serpentine maliciousness locked in thrash savagery within Ascend to Chaos and a volatile grooved invidiousness in the outstanding Walk with Fire, a track which tears and violates with contagion and irrepressible craft. The song is one of the major highlights along with the title track though both are challenged seriously by the melodic fire of My Night of Starless and the thundering predator Black Tomb where bassist Benjamin Donath reveals his deepest grudging menace on the album.

Ours Is the Storm continues to deliver impressive storms of scorning anger and sonic antagonism with the likes of Slaying the Wolf Within and Back to the Soul igniting further strong pleasure. It is a release which is hard to say is inventing anything new or startling but at the same time it is a consistently invigorating and inciting fury which is impossible not relish with greed. Neaera shows no sign of losing their potency or vitriol for which we can be very thankful.


RingMaster 06/03/2013

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Corroosion: Dirt Awareness

Like the effect of sand in a wind tunnel notched up to the maximum, the new album from Italian deathcore band Corroosion is as abrasive and lethal as their name gives hint to. It is a nasty and destructive piece of work, a sonic blistering without mercy or respect. It is also corruptively magnificent. Dirt Awareness is not the easiest of listens or probably not the most appealing for some at times but stare it right in the eyes and it is becomes one of the more rewarding albums to assault the senses this year and has the makings of an insatiable addiction.

From Turin, Corroosion emerged from the ashes of Hekatomb in 2005. Consisting of vocalist AnD, guitarists Sentenza and Lino, bassist Marco, and Dave on drums, the band made their first mark with their 2008 demo Maze Of Human Deprivation. Relentless gigging followed as well as the six track EP Two Steps Before The Vein, the band all the time creating attention grabbing strokes with their storm of extreme metal leading them to sharing stages with bands such as The Acacia Strain, Deicide, Neaera, Annotations of an Autopsy, Knights of the Abyss, and Slowmotion Apocalypse. Mid 2009 and the band signed with Rising Records and set to work on their debut album Punish The Mind with producer Alan Douches (Killswitch Engage, Emmure, Carnifex, The Acacia Strain, Cannibal Corpse),which was released the following year. 2011 saw the band destroy stages alongside the likes of The Ghost Inside, Bleed From Within, Suffokate, Trigger The Bloodshed, For The Fallen Dreams, before working on their second album. Produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Job For a Cowboy, Bring Me The Horizon, Dimmu Borgir, In Flames) and released again on Rising on July 23rd, the album is a titanic treat of invention, imagination and outright violence.

The album creeps up on the ear with the opening to Awareness as echoes of war emerge from the sinister whispers to be replaced by the intrusive windings of guitar grooves and flesh grating vocals. At full stretch the track badgers the senses with crisp punchy rhythms and bruising riffs through an attack which seems tempered, as if the band is simply teasing and taunting its victims. The intensity though is oppressive throughout and heightened in the climaxing storm of scowled group vocals, rigid beats, and manipulative guitars, and the song itself the intimidating beginning and appetizer for the annihilation ahead.

The crushing and quite brilliant track The Loser Slave flies for the jugular within seconds of its appearance, air flaying riffs and grinding grooves to open up the deepest sores laying siege upon the senses. The song evolves into a raging stomp of sounds and bestial borne vocals with a ravenous hunger not to be denied. It is pure malevolence brought with the surest ferocity but dive beyond the surface and there is a continual evolution of invention and sound going on which makes every rampage a new offering. It is this which has the band standing out over other similar bands and makes Dirt Awareness far more than a great album.

More impressive brutality comes in the form of the greedily consuming and relentlessly raging Crimes Of Fathers Times with its dehabilitating diversity of riffs and rhythms skewered with a cruelly niggling groove and the stunning Polarity, both further scarring on the ear and scrambling of synapses with sharp twisting manipulations. The second of the two is a maelstrom of hellacious energy and sounds which use their notes like kinder to spark an inferno of fury and creative excellence to bring one to their knees.

The release is simply one continual high quality and imaginative brute with just the intensity and the caustic covering uniformal. The songs twist and turn within their skins, tempo disruptions, unexpected breakdowns, and perfect unpredictability raging in the eye of every storm such as in further triumphs like Collective Humiliation, Falena, and Repulsion, though every track deserves a mention such the depth of excellence.

The suspicion is Corroosion is still an unknown most have yet to discover but with Dirt Awareness the days of that secret is numbered with the band surely on the verge of deserved major attention.

RingMaster 11/07/2012

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